ECU Loses To Lee University 77-75

East Carolina University

Ricky Harper's lay-up beat the final buzzer and lifted NAIA member Lee University to a 77-75 upset victory over East Carolina inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Saturday.

After reviewing the final shot for several minutes, officials ruled that two-tenths of a second remained on the game clock. The Pirates' full court pass sailed off the fingertips of a pair of players and out-of-bounds to end the contest.

Freshman Jamar Abrams scored a career-high 18 points to lead a trio of Pirates in scoring. Sophomore Brandon Evans also established a career-high for scoring with 15 points. Junior Sam Hinnant tallied 14 points in the loss.

Lee senior Brad Harris led all scorers with 21 points, including 15 from behind the arc. Freddie Williams added 18 points.

"It's hard to explain rationally how we can play [against NC State] before and play the way we played tonight," said Pirate head coach Mack McCarthy. "I don't want to take anything away from Lee; they are a good basketball team, 10-0. They just went out and got it."

After making seven 3-pointers in the opening half, the Flames (10-0) didn't make another until Harris made his fifth of the night with 34 seconds left to tie the game at 75.

The Pirates (4-7) held the ball and called timeout with 14 seconds left to set up for the final shot.

Evans drove baseline for the go-ahead basket, but missed and Williams grabbed the defensive rebound and passed down the floor to the streaking Harper for the winning basket.

Lee controlled the battle of the boards by a 45-34 margin and scored 23 points off offensive rebounds compared to only 14 by ECU. The Flames also used their bigger bodies to block nine shots.

The game was closely contested throughout with neither team never leading by double figures. Lee led for the game's first 14 minutes before ECU went on an 18-5 run to claim an eight-point advantage, 42-34, with over two minutes remaining before halftime. LU scored the final eight points of the half and sent the game to halftime tied at 42-all.
ECU shot 51.5 percent (17-of-33) in the first half, but only connected on 26.9 percent (7-of-26) of its second half attempts. Lee shot 42 percent from the floor in both halves.

Similar to its opponent in the first half, ECU held the second half lead for the first 14 minutes and secured its second eight-point cushion of the night on a pair of free throws by Evans with 7:44 left, 62-54.